Turkish main opposition leader offers prime ministry to MHP chair in coalition government

Turkish main opposition leader offers prime ministry to MHP chair in coalition government

Deniz Zeyrek - ANKARA
Turkish main opposition leader offers prime ministry to MHP chair in coalition government


Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), has offered the seat of prime minister to Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) counterpart Devlet Bahçeli in a bid to convince the nationalist leader to form a coalition government with the CHP. 

“Let’s form a government together. Be the prime minister of that government,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, addressing Bahçeli late June 18 in an interview with daily Hürriyet. 

A potential CHP-MHP coalition requires the backing of the People’s Democracy Party (HDP) to receive a vote of confidence. Bahçeli, however, has said his party will never participate in a political formation that directly or indirectly includes the HDP. 

“Turkey has a whole lot of problems. They need to be resolved. Politics is the art of creating solutions,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, in his most direct call to Bahçeli to pursue a government without the involvement of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Recalling that the CHP, MHP and HDP made similar promises to the people, Kılıçdaroğlu said they could perfectly move forward together to fulfill the promises. 

“One of our principles is the fight against corruption. The government should also fight against it. Mr. Prime Minister [Ahmet Davutoğlu] calls on us to put our axes on the ground. We never had axes in our hands. But if he sees the Dec. 17 and 25 [corruption] cases as axes, then he is making a mistake,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, referring to massive corruption and graft allegations made against senior AKP officials, including four former ministers, in late 2013. 

Recalling that there had been no effective investigation into the corruption allegations, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “We would be respectful if there were a sound prosecution. The [AKP] government should exert efforts to be acquitted of these allegations. While on the one hand you will say, ‘I will cut the arm of the thief, even if he is my brother,’ but on the other, you will refuse to reopen these files.”
The CHP leader said they would not hesitate to go back to an election added that going to snap polls would mean that political leaders would have failed to fulfill their duties and establish a government in line with the people’s will.  

“The people gave an assignment to the leaders of the political parties on June 7. We should assess this. We all have to compromise,” he said. 

One of the other problems confronting the formation of a coalition government is the opposition parties’ criticisms toward President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s direct intervention in politics and governmental affairs even though he theoretically must remain impartial.  

“We have no personal enmity against Tayyip Erdoğan. What we say is that everybody should stay within the law. If he agrees to do so, then we will have no problem,” he said.